TS/SCI Background Investigation Timeline Question


I made a post about a week or two ago about TS/SCI eligibility and mentioned that the only reportable issues I had were 2 speeding tickets and an ex-foreign contact.

I met with my investigator on Monday. His clearance allowed him to access the secure facility I work in and he interviewed, me, two of my references (supervisor and a friend of 10 years), and three additional references not listed on my SF-86 (someone I socialize with outside of work, a neighbor, and a co-worker). Fortunately for me and him, all of those people work in the same building I do and they were all willing and available to be interviewed so he was able to knock all that out in one day.

One thing I disclosed during the interview was that I take a low-dose of amitriptyline (37.5 mg) on an as-needed basis. It’s technically an anti-depressant, but I do not have any history of mental health issues. I take it for a mild neuropathy-related issue. I explained all of this to him and provided him info of my prescribing ENT doctor.

I just got a text from my investigator about 10 minutes ago saying he was “finishing up my report”. Like I said, I just met him on Monday. This seems extraordinarily fast. Is this a good thing for me or is it normal to have an investigator provide some sort of preliminary report in this timeframe?

The investigator is simply finishing his Report of Investigation. Next, your case goes to adjudications and the real wait begins.

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Understood. I just figured the investigation part would take longer than a week.

Or that investigation will be passed to another investigator who will do his portion of the BI and then it goes to the next one… I highly doubt his investigation is done right after one interview.

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Sure. If the case needs it. Not all cases need more than one investigator. But nobody on here who isn’t in PERSEC doesn’t need to know any more than that.

Just because your investigator finished their report doesn’t mean the investigation is done by any means. There’s a ton of other work that is required and that may take much longer. And as others have said- adjudication is a whole different wait.

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That was my hunch, so that’s why I asked.

When I think “report”, I think of a final product that is put together after all the facts and evidenced have been gathered.

This is another reason why investigators should never discuss the progress of a case with the Subject (or anyone outside the process) - No matter how good the intentions.


Keep in mind that even though your investigator says he’s done he might circle back later for additional info, should he need it.

The entire case is built of different reports (not just what your investigator accomplished on that one day) which are ultimately sent to the adjudication level.

The last three investigations I’ve had, all of my investigators would tell me something along the lines of “I’m done with my part/my report.” Okay. Cool. That doesn’t really tell me anything.

Why bother telling someone that? It only creates additional (and unnecessary) questions from the applicant, they don’t get the answers they want (at least they should not, or their PSU is not very professional) and then the applicant becomes that confused, cranky, and sometimes a very annoying person.

The applicant’s job is to submit complete and accurate information and go on about their lives and wait for the next step.

Whoa… I’m confused. Even though investigators undergo a background check, I didnt think they actually had a “clearance.” And anyway, the investigator does not have a “need to know” about any classified material.

I think maybe your facility security officer allows the investigator access to your facility because they are a federal investigator… did they actually go into the secure areas? I’ve met with lots of investigators and usually we meet somewhere in a conference room outside the secure area.

sorry for the rant… it actually has nothing to do with the question… but I wanted to see if I was misinformed about the “clearance” that any federal investigators have, contractor or direct hire feds.

Many CI’s who work the DCSA contract also have active TS clearances for work done for other agencies that don’t use DCSA.

For context, I work on a military base (as a civil servant, not active duty).

My investigator holds TS clearance and has a CAC, so he was able to get onto what we call “Main Site” by himself. However, my building lies in a secure compound that requires driers to go through a 2nd security gate. Flashing your CAC at this gate does not get you access. You have to show your “Area Access” badge to the gate guard so they know you’re cleared for unescorted access to that area.

Since I knew my investigator would be able to get onto Main Site but I didn’t think he’d be able to get past the 2nd gate by himself, I got a temporary visitor area access badge for him before he arrived just in case.

When he arrived, he parked at the police station on Main Site and gave me a call at my desk. I came and picked him and gave him the temporary badge and told him he might need to show it. When we arrived at the gate, I flashed my area access badge and he flashed his credentials (I think he is an OPM federal investigator, not a contractor) and the guard said we were good to go. It turned out he didn’t need that temporary badge.

In my building, even though the hallways and the majority of the cubicle farms are unclassified spaces, since it lies in a secure compound behind a bard-wire fence, the whole compound is designated as a secure facility, so he had to leave his phone and smart watch in a lock box at the front guard gate. I was able to sign him in as a visitor at the guard gate in front of the main entrance to the building and serve as his escort.

I scheduled a conference room for a block of time so he was able to conduct the interviews in privacy. However, there were only 2 hours of open time I was able to reserve, so his interview with me ended up being in my supervisor’s office (my supervisor was kind enough to let me borrow it).

My personal desk resides in an Open Storage Secret (OSS) space with 2 other people in there. Fortunately, I didn’t need to use it, but I got approval from my FSO that I would have been able to take him in there if I had needed to. I would have just needed to sign him in as a visitor. The only places I would not have been able to take him into were the SAPFs, for obvious reasons.

Yeah, when I worked DOE sites, my Q was active and I was able to badge through the secure turnstiles freely. Only needed escort in the vaults.

All feds have at least an active Secret and many contractors also have a clearance - depends on where they work.

So I got a call from my original investigator today who I had a security interview at the beginning of the BI process with, telling me that there is one last thing she needs from me. She got that information and later let me know that “she is submitting the report”. Prior, when I talked to her she said that it was the last thing to be done as everything else looked to be completed. So I asked, does that mean my BI is finished and it’s going into adjudication? She didn’t say outright yes, but made it sound like yes, there seems like there is nothing else left to do in terms of BI. What do you guys think? BI done, welcome to adjudication?

Hey @Amberbunny2 or @EdFarmerIII, not sure if you still frequent these forums or not but do either of you know why an agency would give a suitability denial at the end of an application process, post poly/psych? Why not just deny that person, is there a difference? Can that person reasonably be expected to have another shot in a year or is mostly game over for that agency?

Suitability denials can come anywhere in the process. Remember, there are usually several things going on at the same time and one or more may result in a suitability denial. Or, agencies can use suitability as a method to turn down an applicant without the issues that a clearance denial can cause.

I don’t know if it’s game over for the agency. They don’t tell you the reasons for these denials so your can’t really make sure that you have cleared them up. It’s a tough situation.

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do you mind elaborating on those several things? what are they?

Often, while your clearance investigation is starting, your agency can be working on a suitability review. During your investigation there may be several investigators executing different parts of the investigation.

The point is that this isn’t a simple one end to the other process.